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Nebraska Football

Reviewing Nebraska's Roster Heading Into the Offseason: Defense

December 2, 2018
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Sadly, the 2018 football season has come to an end for Nebraska. With the school semester coming to a close soon and National Signing Day just around the corner, this is a perfect time to take stock of what the Nebraska roster looks like at this stage.

On Saturday, we broke down the offensive side of the ball. Today, it’s defense. 

Defensive Line (20)

Scholarship Nose Tackles (5): Carlos Davis (SR), Vaha Vainuku (SR), Darrion Daniels (SR), Tony Fair (JR), Damion Daniels (SO)

Scholarship Defensive Ends (9): Khalil Davis (SR), DaiShon Neal (SR), Ben Stille (JR), Deontre Thomas (SO), Chris Walker (SO), Tate Wildeman (rFR), Casey Rodgers (rFR), Mosai Newsom (FR), Ethan Piper (FR)

Walk-On Defensive End (6): Fyn Anderson (SR), Damian Jackson (SO), Ben Lingenfelter (SO), Colton Feist (rFR), Ryan Schommer (rFR), Eli Richter (FR)

I’m leaving Carlos Davis at nose tackle for now; we’ll see where he plays most of his snaps next season. If Tony Fair makes it to campus, the Huskers should be in decent shape at the nose. 

Darrion Daniels’ decision to transfer to Nebraska as a graduate from Okalahoma State could also provide Nebraska with another option at the nose, freeing Carlos Davis to move back to end.

As for the ends, Neal is set to be a fifth-year senior and could potentially be a graduate transfer if that is a path he is interested in taking. Neal hasn’t played much in his career, though he was seeing the field in a limited fashion every week until the injury that led to season-ending surgery. It seems like he’s pretty tight with the rest of the linemen.

Linebackers (26)

Scholarship Inside Linebackers (7): Mohamed Barry (SR), Jacob Weinmaster (SR), Will Honas (JR), Collin Miller (JR), Nick Henrich (FR), Jackson Hannah (FR), Garrett Snodgrass (FR)

Walk-On Inside Linebackers (5): Grant Jordan (JR), Spencer Jordan (JR), Joseph Johnson (rFR), Jake Archer (rFR), Chris Cassidy (rFR)

Scholarship Outside Linebackers (9): Tyrin Ferguson (SR), Alex Davis (SR), Pernell Jefferson (JR), Quayshon Alexander (JR), Breon Dixon (SO), Caleb Tannor (SO), David Alston (rFR), Garrett Nelson (FR), Jamin Graham (FR)

Walk-On Outside Linebackers (5): Jordan Paup (SO), Simon Otte (rFR), Anthony Banderas (rFR), Caden McCormack (FR), Nick Leader (FR)

As with Wyatt Mazour, I’ll leave Jacob Weinmaster on the scholarship list until we’re told otherwise after the former walk-on was placed on scholarship prior to last season then played a key role on special teams and was second-string at inside linebacker this year.

Quayshon Alexander missed the whole season with an injury, and neither Alexander nor Jefferson have seen the field to this point in their careers. They’ve both already used their redshirt season, which would make things a bit more complicated if they were to look elsewhere. Alex Davis will be a fifth-year senior and potential graduate transfer candidate as well, though he played a good number of snaps this year.

Defensive Backs (27)

Scholarship Cornerbacks (8): Lamar Jackson (SR), Eric Lee Jr. (SR), Dicaprio Bootle (JR), Tony Butler (JR), Cam Taylor (SO), Braxton Clark (rFR), Myles Farmer (FR), Javin Wright (FR)

Walk-On Cornerbacks (3): Jeremiah Stovall (SR), Ethan Cox (SO), Moses Bryant (rFR)

Scholarship Safeties (7): Avery Anderson (SR), Deontai Williams (JR), JoJo Domann (JR), Marquel Dismuke (JR), Cam Jones (rFR), CJ Smith (rFR), Quinton Newsome (FR)

Walk-On Safeties (9): Reid Karel (SR), Eli Sullivan (JR), Bradley Bunner (SO), Lane McCallum (SO), Corbin Ruth (SO), Isaiah Stalbird (rFR), Corbin Frederick (rFR), Cam Kleinschmidt (FR), Luke Reimer (FR)

It seems like Lamar Jackson thought he’d be three-and-out when he first got to Nebraska, so he’s one you always have to keep an eye on just in case. Avery Anderson and Eric Lee Jr. are both going to be fifth-year juniors; Anderson was hurt all year and Lee only played when Jackson got benched. Those two are incredibly tight and if one looks elsewhere, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the other look with him. Tony Butler has been strictly a special teams player to this point.

Class Tally

Seniors: 15 (12 scholarship, 3 walk-on)

Juniors: 14 (11 scholarship, 3 walk-on)

Sophomores: 13 (6 scholarship, 7 walk-on)

Redshirt Freshmen: 16 (6 scholarship, 10 walk-on)

True Freshmen: 15 (10 scholarship, 5 walk-on)

Total: 73 (45 scholarship, 28 walk-on)

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Reviewing Nebraska's Roster Heading Into the Offseason: Defense

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